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Development plan for partnerships in China and membership in Fairbiotea

If a producer applies for a development partnership, an investigation will be carried out first to determine whether the organisation is eligible for a development partnership and for a membership with Fairbiotea.

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Fairbiotea first checks which teas are produced and whether they are suitable for the European market. It must be ensured that the teas can be marketed in larger quantities that could provide the company with sufficient revenue to finance the future development costs. Alternatively, the company must have sufficient resources to cover these development costs. In addition, the export prices are determined on the basis of competitive prices in Europe.

Furthermore, we check whether the agricultural area can be expanded and if other teas that are in demand in Europe can be produced, in order to improve the revenue situation of the company.

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For a development partnership and membership in Fairbiotea, the minimum requirements of the development plan must already be met.

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The producer is prepared to enter into a comprehensive long-term cooperation, constant supply and transparency and agrees to undergo compliance checks by Fairbiotea and external control bodies regarding the development plan at any time.

The producer is always ready to give any information truthfully. 

The producer has the necessary knowledge about organic production, social management as well as hygiene and quality management, or is ready to undertake appropriate advice.

Agricultural land is defined by specifying hectare size, yield and location.

Manufacturing plants (tea factories) are clearly defined and meet the hygienic requirements of the European food law or, in case they are not met yet, actions are implemented immediately to guarantee these standards. 

There is a HACCP hygiene management certification or ISO 22000 quality management certification to verify the state of hygiene and quality requirements, alternatively the producer is ready to promptly implement such certification.

All areas of operation are certified organic according to CERES EU 834/2007 and USDA NOP, or else certain measures are undertaken to meet the criteria of these regulations.

There is a TraCert agreement between the producer/exporter, the importer and the third country organic control body CERES, or the producer/exporter is ready to conclude it. The TraCert contract regulates the export controls beyond the usual EU organic certification and the implementation of development measures and ensures a high degree of transparency between the contracting parties.

There is a sustainability certification for UTZ/Rainforest Alliance or the producer is ready to introduce it immediately.

The producers are companies that, as required by Chinese labour law, issue employment contracts to all short and long-term employees in tea agriculture and factories and pay the legal minimum wage, otherwise they are ready to take the necessary steps to comply.

The producer discloses the employment contracts at any time at the request of Fairbiotea or the organic control body and fulfils the content of these contracts in practice.

The producer ensures that all produced tea batches are checked for chemical residues in appropriate laboratories and that the importer and the organic control body are informed about the results.

There are documentations that allow batch tracing back to the farm at any time.

The packaging material is free from contamination. 

The producer is ready and financially able to undertake measures at short notice to modernise buildings, machineries and operations to prevent or minimise contamination from environmental chemicals or pesticides and comply with the European food law at all times. 

The producer guarantees that the tea is produced only in the specified farms and processed in the indicated tea factories. Furthermore, in case of any changes, the company guarantees to inform the importer long in advance and ask for approval.

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Further sustainability requirements of the Fairbiotea development plan that go beyond EU organic certification and which must be implemented step by step and year after year at the discretion of the producer and in consultation with Fairbiotea.

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An intensification of the training on sustainability by the management or by external consulting.

Conversion of the entire agricultural area, tea factories and warehouses to organic production. No parallel production with simultaneous or successive processing of organic and conventional production is allowed.

The planting of nitrogen fixing plants like the sweet clover in order to supply the soil with nutrients and to suppress weeds between the tea plants. This measure saves organic fertiliser and reduces the time needed for manual weed management.

  • Creating a plan for the production of high-quality compost, which gives the following information: Where can a sufficient quantity of green and brown biomass be harvested or purchased? Can cattle be raised in the farm that provides high quality nitrogen for compost production? If not, in which cattle farms can dung be obtained in sufficient quantities? Which machines are needed, how many compost managers and compost workers are needed? Who trains and controls the compost managers? Which investments are necessary? How high are the cost savings compared to the use of organic fertiliser? How big is the ecological benefit of compost production?

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Joint production planning between producer and importer and market-driven product diversification with the aim of optimally co-marketing the produced tea in Europe.

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Fairbiotea offers long-term purchase guarantees with the aim of achieving fair and cost-covering export prices for the producer while at the same time offering competitive prices for the European market. This is intended to secure the cost recovery of sustainable development.

Fairbiotea supports and advises producers in all aspects of this sustainable development.

Under www.fairbiotea.de, Fairbiotea reports constantly on the development of the producer companies and promotes thereby the image of the producers as well as the sales of its sustainably produced teas.

An intensive dialogue about the content of the cooperation between producer, Fairbiotea and Ceres as an organic certifier and control body of Fairbiotea is explicitly desired with the aim to lead the project for a sustainable economic, ecological and social success.

Fairbiotea will visit the facility regularly or instruct a third country control body to conduct an audit. During these audits, the state of development is determined and future measures for achieving sustainability are discussed.

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